Come off the motorway with the sea in sight. Then a few bends will lead you towards a valley that is bewitching for its colours and its streams.
Turn right, then left and you’ll find yourself in front of a clifftop that reminds of overseas landscapes. Another bend and there, at a distance of a few, a very few metres, the wingspan of a gigantic bird catches your eye filling you with emotion. It’s there, in Alcara Li Fusi, a small hill municipality in the province of Messina, that a colony of seventy-five griffon vultures imported from Spain in the Nineties has made a base for nesting and the flying training of the newborns. It’s a spectacular sight as the griffons fly and feed, a sight the notebook of anyone who loves nature can’t miss. Attracted by this event, which will have a schedule for tourists soon, we go inside the town in the Park of the Nebrodi with a certain shyness and we come out of it with a bag full of many little things that are totally worth a stop over the weekend.
The culture of Alcara Li Fusi (Sicily)
Churches and the most ancient of the pagan rites in Italy (the ‘festa del muzzuni’, which is celebrated in June) apart, we linger in the rooms of the museum of sacred art, which brings you in the most aristocratic European capitals, thanks to the way in which it is curated. More than hundreds of years old wooden Christ’s faces, together with sacred pieces of writing of fine craftsmanship and elegant silver objects and sacred paintings can charm even the most atheist. The ancient mills positioned along a stream as if they were several floors of the same building and the public washhouse of post-fascist period, still in use for washing heavy blankets at the end of winter, are beautiful as well. Who doesn’t have one of those little colourful kitchen carpets?
Alcara Li Fusi, the magic nature
Greenery, caves and streams are the highlights of this area. Several itineraries for trek-lovers start from the town. The grotta del Lauro, with its limestone formations, is a point of reference for the caving enthusiasts. And for everyone, adults and children, there is the sight of the griffon vultures. Seeing these birds of prey flying over one’s head and very close to the ground, watching them during a meat meal is pure adrenaline.
The good food of Nebbrodi mountains
Boar meat sauce and the Nebrodi black pig are the main specialities, but there is a dish, produced in very small quantities by some old ladies, that is worth mentioning. It is a sort of jam made with prickly pear juice that breeders took with them on the mountains as a nourishing food. Many things that together can colour a different weekend. And, going back to the valley, you’ll find the intense blue of the sea of the Aeolian Islands on the horizon.